Monday, May 12, 2008

Gardening 'Til Dark

I usually start putting the gardening tools away and cleaning up when the vapor light outside Love's workshop clicks on. But tonight, I gardened well past the hum and thump of the light. You see, today I bought tomato and pepper plants for the newly tilled Holding Garden, and tomorrow the rains come. So today, I was gardening when I could hardly see. I've yet to garden by truck lights, but I figure that day is coming.

I took a new turn at the Farmer's Coop as I was choosing plants today. First of all, they had no Arkansas Traveler's, no Rutgers, none of my old standbys, unless you count the Sweet 100s. Bought out by the folks who got their acts together on time, I suppose. (Although it was 40F when we awoke this morning, so I'm not that far behind the pack.) And they did have some of the most appealing names. So, I got one pack of Sweet 100s, because Skye thinks that a garden without "squirt" tomatoes is not worth having, and I pretty much agree. And then I chose a half-dozen different vareties to try: Burgundy Traveler, Purple Cherokee, Early Girl, Beefsteak, Mortgage Lifter, and Heatwave. Adventures in tomatoes!

Skye got first choice and chose the Early Girl for her mini-garden, plus her must-have Sweet 100. I put in a second Sweet 100 plus the remaining plants. Mentoring the young gardener slowed things down, but it is absolutely worth it! We had time to mulch hers with newpaper and straw before she went inside to start homework, but mine got the quick treatment -- just a cage, a plant marker, a cup of Miracle Grow for Tomatoes, and a shower of water. I'll have lots more weeds than she will, but I wield a mean hoe!

As this is a rebuilding year for me, with all my plans for creating the Kitchen Garden, the Holding Garden will be mostly perennials and bulbs on hold with vegetables along the edge. Thus, this is a mininum garden for me: the 3 absolutely must-haves: tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers. In between and beside the tomatoes went the peppers: 6 jalepenos, 2 orange bells, 1 chocolate bell, and 1 fajita bell -- whatever that is. The cucumbers didn't make it tonight. Those I will plant from seed. After my last experience with cucumber bedding plants, I vowed never to do that again!

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